Tesla is the leader when it comes to offering autonomous driving cars. They have impressed many people with their car’s abilities. Model 3 is the most affordable Tesla that you can currently buy and it might be the one with the most technology, considering that it is the most modern one. However, in our country, the autonomous cars are not yet launched except the MG Gloster which is the first car to be launched with autonomous ability in India. MG Motors is offering level 1 autonomous technology with the Gloster. So, what is the difference between the autonomous technologies of the Tesla Model 3 and the Gloster? But first, we need to learn some basic information about an autonomous car.
What is an autonomous car?
In a layman’s terms, an autonomous car can be defined as a car which can go anywhere without the supervision or interruption of a human occupant. The SAE or Society of Automotive Engineers has classified driving automation in 6 levels which starts from Level 0 to Level 5.
Level 0 or fully manual vehicle does not come with any sort of assistance or self-driving technology. Everything is under the control of the driver including all the reactions to sudden hazards.
Level 1 autonomy is the basic autonomous features that the manufacturers are offering. Some of the examples of Level 1 autonomy are automatic park assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot detection and lane departure warning. So, the driver has to play some part in controlling the car. For instance, the car can take care of the steering while automatic parking but the throttle input and gear changes will be done by the driver.
Level 2 is partial automation where the car can perform acceleration as well as steering. The duty of the driver is to supervise the car and take control in hand if the situation starts going out of control. So, the car can accelerate, decelerate, navigate and change lanes without any inputs from the driver. However, the driver is still required to hold the steering wheel every few seconds. This makes sure that the driver is paying attention to the road and is ready to take control of the car in case something goes wrong.
Level 3 and upwards are considered to be a proper autonomous tech. The cars can monitor their external environment using various sensors and cameras mounted at various positions. These cars can drive themselves by understanding their surroundings. However, driver intervention is required if something hazardous happens. Hypothetically, these cars should be able to drive themselves and the driver can relax.
Level 4 cars can drive themselves in certain conditions without any intervention from the driver. So, the driver does not need to pay attention to the road. However, if the conditions are not favourable the car cannot be fully trusted so a driver is seated to override controls.
Level 5 cars are considered to be fully automatic cars. They can take you from point A to point B without any human intervention.
Where does the MG Gloster stack against the Tesla Model 3?
Based on these levels the Gloster ranks at Level 1. This also makes the MG Gloster the first autonomous vehicle to be launched in India. It gets Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, Automatic Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Departure Warning. It is the first car to offer all these features.
So, the Gloster can cruise on highways by using a camera that scans what is in front of it. It will accelerate, decelerate and maintain a safe distance according to the vehicle driving in front of you. The Automatic Emergency Braking can sense the collision ahead of time and can apply the brakes. Automatic Parking Assist can park the SUV for you. Where it will steer the SUV automatically and you would have to give the throttle inputs. It also comes with Blind Spot Detection which can detect if there is any car in your blind spot and can alert you. It comes equipped with Forward Collision Warning which can warn the driver when an obstruction is detected in front on the car. It also comes equipped with Lane Departure Warning if someone is about to cross over from its lane.
When compared Tesla considers its vehicle to be on Level 2. Model 3 comes with the “Hardware 3” which makes autonomy possible. It features autosteer, automatic emergency braking, front collision warning, side collision warning, automatic lane changing and exit and merge on highways. It also features cameras all around the car, radar in the front of the car and ultrasonic sensors at the side of the car. All these cameras and sensors allow the Model 3 to be aware of its surroundings and prep up the safety systems in advance.
Yes, we know that the Tesla Model 3 is way ahead of the MG Gloster but these autonomous features are very hard to implement correctly. They require proper road conditions, lane markings and much more. So, it is quite impressive that MG was able to implement these features in a country like ours where the roads are not really well maintained.
Having said that, Tesla Motor’s CEO Elon Musk has shared that they are planning to enter India sometime in 2021. It will be interesting to see how much features of Tesla would be able to work in our country or will they just disable the autonomous features.